Jeanne d'Arc PSP

Jeanne d'Arc PSP
Remember that awesome three-dimensional alien board game from Star Wars with the creatures that would wait their turn before killing each other? Well, subtract the holograms and add batshit crazy French heroine Joan of Arc and a bobble-headed army of demonic Englishmen and you’ve got the improbably enjoyable PSP game Jeanne d’Arc. Or maybe not that improbable — after all, this was developed by Level 5, the team behind the acclaimed Dragon Quest VIII and Rogue Galaxy. Still, I’m no fan of turn-based combat, much less strategy RPGs that play out on grids, but I couldn’t put Jeanne d’Arc down. Certainly the graphics are quite lovely, from the anime cut-scenes to the crisp cell-shaded in-game CGI, and the tactical game-play boasts complex but not complicated character and skill building as well as limited turns and mobility to reward forethought not button-mashing. But much of the appeal is the alternate-reality setting. The game’s historically accurate in its depiction of the teenage Joan’s insurgency against the English occupation during the Hundred Years’ War, from real-life soldiers like La Hire to locales such as Joan’s hometown Domremy. But like an issue of Marvel’s awesome What If? comic series, they add an unexpected twist. In this case, young King Henry VI has been possessed by a demon while the chosen one Joan not only hears the voice of God, but has also been bestowed with magical powers to defeat him. What’s not to love about a medieval Buffy the Vampire Slayer? (Level 5/Sony)